Get More Smarter on Wednesday (November 18)

Happy Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia. Please celebrate responsibly. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► And then there was purple. As The Denver Post reports:

Colorado will impose tighter restrictions on 15 counties, including Denver and much of the metro area, by the end of the week in the state’s latest effort to curb the accelerating transmission of COVID-19 without ordering a lockdown, officials announced Tuesday.

The new public health restrictions in those counties encourage, but do not order, people to stay at home, while prohibiting all personal gatherings outside of an individual’s household, barring indoor dining at restaurants and moving last call for alcohol to 8 p.m.

Confusion about the new rules reigned for much of the afternoon Tuesday after Gov. Jared Polis announced at a news conference that “a number of counties” would be moving to Level Red on the state’s revamped, color-coded coronavirus dial — but then declined to identify which counties would be subjected to the more aggressive restrictions.

Level Red used to be the highest level on Colorado’s dial and would have triggered a stay-at-home order, but state officials have pushed back the threshold that counties need to qualify for a lockdown by adding an even higher status — Level Purple — that Polis said won’t be invoked unless hospitals are overflowing.

TL;DR: Most of the Metro area will likely be moved to Level Red at the end of the week, which is not as bad as Defcon Purple but is still a significant increase. 9News has more on what the Purple means.

Stay home if you can. Wear a mask if you can’t. And never forget: The coronavirus doesn’t care about your political leanings. As The Washington Post reports, more than 3 million Americans are now believed to be contagious with coronavirus.

Via CDPHE

 

Pfizer announced that its coronavirus vaccine appears to be 95% effective, and the company will seek regulatory approval “within days.” Earlier this week, Moderna revealed that one of its coronavirus vaccines appeared to be 95% effective.

Elsewhere, the FDA has authorized the first at-home coronavirus test — and it won’t require you to jab yourself in the brain with a long q-tip.

 

How bad are things going at the White House? As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, the Lame Duck-in-Chief is doing just about everything we feared he would do:

The end of Donald Trump’s time in the White House was always going to be ugly. Just how ugly is now coming into clearer focus.

The removal of Chris Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, on Tuesday night is the newest abomination of how a government and a president should work. While it’s impossible to say it’s the worst or most damaging thing Trump has done while in office — they all run together after a while — what can be said is that what the President did on Tuesday night runs directly counter to the healthy functioning of a democracy.

Why? Because Krebs was fired for telling the truth…

…If you are fine with Trump firing Krebs, what you are saying is that the truth is immaterial. That the whims of a leader trump facts. Down this road — and it’s not even that slippery of a slope — lies nothing good. And in fact, a lot of very scary things.

Krebs did his job by helping to keep our elections safe in 2020, but his failure to find fraud doomed him with a President who is desperate for someone credible to acknowledge that there is still a way that Trump could remain in office.

 

► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner will not be in the Senate much longer after getting pummeled at the polls earlier this month. You would think this would give Gardner some freedom to express actual opinions about important topics, but, alas, cowardice has kept a firm grip on the Yuma Republican.

 

► As we mentioned Tuesday, Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) will soon drop his second job as Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. According to Conrad Swanson of The Denver Post, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler and the genius behind “Personhood,” Kristi Burton Brown are both potential candidates to succeed Buck as Chair. Ultimately, we’d expect that it will be Gessler who ends up as the next GOP Chair.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

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Cory Gardner’s Loyalty To Trump Extends Beyond Political Grave

After nearly two weeks of trying, a reporter finally got outgoing Sen. Cory Gardner to utter words in response to the terminal crisis of Donald Trump’s out-of-control presidency–Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the results of an election that no reasonable observer has found any reason to question the results of.

Free of the obligation to defend a unified Republican ticket in a state Republicans have been losing for 15 years and at an accelerated pace since Trump took office, did Gardner finally summon up the spine to admit the obvious, and call for the peaceful transfer of power he assured us would take place when Trump suggested delaying the election back in July?

Sorry to disappoint you, folks.

The only thing we can say in response to this latest and perhaps final refusal by Sen. Gardner to keep the promise he made to voters in 2014, “when my party is wrong, I’ll say it,” is that it strongly indicates something more than political expedience at work in Gardner’s loyalty to Donald Trump. After Gardner called on Trump to pull out of the presidential race in October of 2016, Gardner’s swift about-face into one of Trump’s most indefatigable defenders ran directly counter to the preference of a majority of Colorado voters–even many Colorado Republicans, who had tried to make the state an example of Republican resistance to Trump by locking down for Ted Cruz at the 2016 GOP state assembly.

Cory Gardner had countless opportunities to meaningfully separate from Trump, plotting a careful course like neighboring Sens. Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse to exit the Trump era with their reputations intact in much redder states. Trump’s divisiveness created a bright white line between his supporters and the rest of the country, and Gardner stayed with his President even though that clearly meant aligning with a minority of Colorado voters. In setting the stage for Gardner’s widely anticipated defeat, there was a rush to make excuses for Gardner’s very deliberate choice to stay loyal to Trump over Colorado.

None of those excuses explain why Gardner is still covering for Trump now.

Wednesday Open Thread

“There are no exceptions to the rule that everybody likes to be an exception to the rule.”

–Charles Osgood

Jared Polis Steps Up Because Mitch McConnell Won’t

Gov. Jared Polis (D).

As the Denver Post’s Alex Burness reports:

Colorado state lawmakers are preparing for Gov. Jared Polis to call a special session focused on COVID-19 relief.

Top Democratic officials in both chambers of the statehouse say they and the Democratic governor’s office have been in talks for weeks on a possible special session, and that the failure of Congress to pass a new federal stimulus package has added urgency to those talks of late…

The governor’s office, asked about the possibility of a special session, released this statement from Polis and Democratic legislative leaders: “Legislative leaders and the Governor’s office have been having productive conversations on how we can step up to help provide additional relief to Colorado businesses and hardworking families during these challenging times.”

This morning, Marianne Goodland of the Colorado Springs Gazette relayed more details on the relief package state lawmakers will take up in the special session expected to be announced by Gov. Jared Polis at a press conference this afternoon:

Polis already has proposed a $1.3 billion stimulus package for the 2021-22 fiscal year budget. That package contains $220 million in “shovel-ready public works and infrastructure projects,” mostly for the Department of Transportation and state parks improvements. Another $160 million would go toward broadband investments, including telehealth and education; $78 million for wildfire response; $106 million for small businesses — mostly direct aid grants to restaurants and bars, hit hard by capacity restrictions imposed by the state and local governments; and $168 million for the $375 payment for low-and middle-income earners who lost jobs due to the pandemic.

Another $200 million is included for “one-time stimulus legislative priorities.”

The stimulus headed to lawmakers for the special session is a subset of that $1.3 billion package, comprised of an additional $220 million in spending.

The key points of this economic relief bill are reportedly targeted at small businesses most in need of immediate assistance, including bars and restaurants. Also prioritized for help: Renters, child care assistance, and internet access for students being forced into remote learning by the virus’s resurgence. The increased urgency of the need for relief, after months of failure in Washington to make good on promises that helped seal outgoing Sen. Cory Gardner’s doom in the recent election, appears to be greasing the bipartisan skids in the Colorado General Assembly for passage. After all, the principal complaint earlier in the year from (mostly) Republican legislators is they didn’t have a role in appropriating some of the CARES Act’s targeted funds. They can’t say that in a special session.

We’ll be pleased to see this go off uneventfully, a sign that the state’s Republican minority is growing out of the past two years of pointless partisan “war footing” obstruction–or failing that, at least minimally listening to their struggling constituents.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (November 17)

Good news: There are only 45 days left in this miserable year. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► Here’s your regular reminder that the coronavirus doesn’t give a shit about your politics. As NPR reports:

As hospitals in Iowa fill up with COVID-19 patients amid a major surge in cases in recent weeks, Gov. Kim Reynolds, who once dismissed coronavirus restrictions as “feel-good” measures, has abruptly reversed course, issuing the state’s first mask mandate.

Reynolds signed a proclamation requiring Iowans over the age of 2 to wear masks in indoor public spaces starting Tuesday.

“No one wants to do this. I don’t want to do this,” Reynolds, a Republican, said at a news conference Monday.

“If Iowans don’t buy into this, we’ll lose,” she said. “Businesses will close once again, more schools will be forced to go online, and our health care system will fail.”

Last week, Iowa hit a record-high of 5,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases in a single day. As The New York Times reports, Republican governors in a number of states are being forced to acknowledge reality:

For months, Republican governors resisted calls for mask mandates. But as they have watched hospitals in their states stretched to the breaking point in recent weeks — driving home the reality of the dangers posed by a virus allowed to spread unchecked — that is starting to change.

In Utah last week, Gary Herbert, the Republican governor, issued a mask mandate “until further notice” as hospitals across the state were nearing or at full capacity.

Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota ordered residents of the state on Friday to wear masks indoors and outdoors if they could not socially distance. North Dakota has the country’s highest rates of new daily cases and deaths per person, according to a New York Times database.

In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice ordered on Saturday that residents must wear masks in indoor public settings.

New COVID-related restrictions are happening across the country — including in conservative bastions like Colorado’s Mesa County. Colorado is expected to add a new level to its COVID-19 meter in an announcement today.

 

Governor Jared Polis will soon call a special legislative session for the purpose of allocating money for COVID relief efforts. As The Denver Post reports:

Top Democratic officials in both chambers of the statehouse say they and the Democratic governor’s office have been in talks for weeks on a possible special session, and that the failure of Congress to pass a new federal stimulus package has added urgency to those talks of late.

Polis is expected to announce the move as early as Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said a special session is “likely” at this point, “given the (COVID-19) surge and the impact it’s having not just on families, but small businesses.”

Housing, child care, and small business relief are among the topics expected to be included in a special legislative session.

 

Efforts to recall Gov. Jared Polis have failed, again, in predictable fashion. Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman has the sad details:

Via Colorado Politics (11/16/20)

The second effort to recall Gov. Jared Polis has had the same results as the first: None of the 631,266 valid signatures required to put a recall on the ballot were turned in by the deadline of Nov. 13, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The second effort, begun Sept. 14, was launched by Lori Cutunilli of Summit County and Greg Merschel of Grand Junction, who was also involved with the 2019 effort.

 

► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) will soon drop his second job as Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. In his place: Former Secretary of State Scott Gessler. If you are a Broncos fan, this is like debating between Vic Fangio and Vance Joseph as head coach. Or choosing a general manager between John Elway and…John Elway.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

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Tuesday Open Thread

“Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.”

–W. Clement Stone

Lobbyists Who Joined Gardner and Mickey & Goofy Could Be Seeking Access to Another Character: Donald

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

While trips to Disney World following hard-fought contests are generally associated with the winners, lame-duck Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) nevertheless spent last weekend in Orlando in what has become an annual tradition of his own: schmoozing with lobbyists at the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Last year Gardner’s campaign committee and his PAC spent nearly $40,000 at the resort according to Federal Election Commission records. That may sound like a lot to spend on a fundraiser, until you consider that in 2017, tickets to Project West PAC’s “Family Weekend at Disney World” cost between $1,500 and $5,000.

The event is similar to another Gardner tradition, the annual ski weekend at Beaver Creek, for which tickets started at $2,500. Over 70 lobbyists attended that January event, representing a variety of corporate interests, such as oil & gas, law firms, health insurance, transportation companies, and pharmaceutical makers. Even at the minimum ticket price for each of them, the Beaver Creek event would have brought in $175,000. Gardner himself wasn’t able to attend this year’s ski weekend, but it’s believed he did make it to Orlando.

Gardner’s weekend at Disney World actually began last Friday. On an earnings call with investors the day before, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced the park was upping its attendance limits by 40%. The park is now operating at 35% capacity, up from the 25% limit it had in place since reopening in July. Two weeks ago Disney laid off 11,350 workers from the Orlando resort.

Florida is experiencing a severe spike in coronavirus cases, reporting over 10,000 new cases and 29 deaths yesterday.

It’s unclear whether the Senator’s recent election loss caused any fiscally conservative lobbyists to withdraw from the fundraiser. And while Gardner may be a lame duck, those who did pony up to eat and play with Cory and Mickey and Goofy are likely more interested in his remaining access to another character: Donald.

Scott Gessler Will Be Next CO GOP Leader, Says GOP Pundit

(Slow heavy metal music playing – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a.k.a. the “Honey Badger.”

Speaking on a conservative podcast last week, a former Republican congressional candidate said former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler will be the next state GOP chair because “you can’t beat somebody with nobody.”

No one will run against Gessler because “there is no value in the position,” George Athansasopoulos, who lost a 2016 race to U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), told Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden during their podcast last Monday.

Reached by phone by the Colorado Times Recorder, Gessler declined to comment on whether he is running for the post.

During Monday’s show, Hayden also referred to Gessler as a candidate for the position and indicated that U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, the current chair, would not run again. Buck didn’t return a call for comment.

Gessler seems ripe for the moment, as Republicans across the country falsely allege voter fraud. Gessler made specious accusations of voter fraud throughout his 2011-2015 tenure as secretary of state, at one point saying with no evidence that non-citizens voted.

He opposed Democratic efforts to pass a bill mandating mail-in ballots, saying it would lead to fraud, which it has not.

He didn’t seek re-election to his SOS job, instead launching a failed bid for governor in 2014 during which he lambasted his fellow Republicans, saying at one point: “We have these fearful, weak-kneed, timid Republicans who are more interested in scoring political points against me than standing up for principle and saying, ‘You know what? We have corruption in this state.’”

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Bearing Witness To Recall Polis 2.0’s Sad Sputter

As promised when the so-called “Dethrone Polis 2020” campaign announced Friday that they would not be turning in the required 630,000+ valid voter signatures to qualify a recall question for a future special election ballot, here’s the “request” by a lawyer purporting to represent the campaign asking for a 90-day extension of the collection period, citing public gathering restrictions imposed to control the spread of COVID-19.

As the Colorado Sun reported Saturday, this is dumb on a couple of key levels:

The 60-day deadline for signature gathering is specified in the state Constitution. Any request for an extension would have to be granted by the courts, Betsy Hart, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Jena Griswold, said in an email.

Although proponents of the failed abortion ban ballot measure Proposition 115 successfully petitioned the courts for a short extension to citing collection difficulties during the pandemic, that campaign had actually submitted signatures by the required deadline, something the Recall Polis campaign never even bothered to do. With no evidence that this campaign came even remotely close to their goal within the 60 days they had, granting them 90 more days would be silly and unfair.

Not to mention they have to ask a judge, not the Secretary of State. We’ll see if a court case is ever even filed–and if one is, we expect it to survive about as long as one of President Donald Trump’s election lawsuits.

With all of this in mind, the realization that the second in as many recall attempts against Colorado’s popular Democratic governor has failed miserably is not sitting well with the Facebook faithful–and they’re growing despondent over leaders’ silence:

And in the absence of hard information, some are getting a bit twitchy, Michigan-style:

Safe to say, these are not productive methods of coping with bad news.

The reality, much like the half-baked dispute over the presidential election, is that this second consecutive recall campaign against Gov. Jared Polis is all over. We are curious to know just how many signatures organizers claim to have obtained, but unless they actually turn them in for validation we have no reason to believe any number they give us. As we’ve said from the beginning, the logistics of an undertaking on the scale needed to gather more signatures than any campaign in the state’s history would have been visible. It never existed, it was never going to exist, and just like the 2019 recall it was the product of unserious actors who were never capable of succeeding.

Since the 2018 elections devastated a Colorado GOP already reeling from their steady erosion of power over the previous 14 years, the party from the highest levels has done nothing to change course–and the 2020 election proved it. Taking bad advice from bad consultants, Republicans instead dived into a series of recall campaigns against Gov. Polis and state lawmakers in 2019 that not only failed, but seriously damaged the credibility of Republicans from state party chairman Ken Buck on down. Buck’s personal embrace of recalls, and his vice-chair’s direct role in the ill-fated recall attempt against Rep. Tom Sullivan of Centennial made it impossible to extricate the party once the campaigns humiliatingly crashed and burned.

Although recalls were always intended for use in exigent cases of misconduct by elected officials, not opportunistic do-overs of fairly decided elections, the abuse of the process for political paybacks by a shrinking minority party in Colorado does appear to have damaged the credibility of Republicans involved. Former House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, who audaciously played in the failed Sullivan recall after leading the House minority to its smallest size in decades, is as close to persona non grata as he’s ever been. The National Popular Vote legislation cited as justification for recalling Polis and state lawmakers was victorious in a statewide vote. The “red flag” law that had the gun lobby dreaming of a 2013 redux is working as intended.

If Republicans in Colorado ever want to win again, it is this endless state of contrived political crises that has to stop. The last decade of Republican politics has been about disregarding all rules, traditions, and even pretense of cross-aisle engagement, and waging endless, ad absurdum partisan warfare down to the very last mountainous molehill.

We can’t speak for everywhere in America, but the voters of Colorado are sick and tired of it.

No Surprise: Lauren Boebert Fronts Colorado GOP MAGA Denial

The former and new face of the Colorado Republican Party.

AP via CBS4 Denver reports on Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert’s big weekend in Washington, D.C. at the Million MAGA March rally to celebrate in denial of President Donald Trump’s glorious victory resounding defeat at the polls almost two weeks ago:

Fervent supporters of President Donald Trump rallied in Washington on Saturday behind his spurious claim of a stolen election and swarmed his motorcade when he detoured for a drive-by on his way out of town…

Among those supporters was Colorado Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert. She called on more people running for office.

“Let’s take all of that energy and convert it into getting Patriots across this country to step up and run for office. We need more people who aren’t the entrenched political class to step up & come to DC! That’s the only way it changes,” Boebert stated on social media.

This is, we’re sorry to say, a bit of a whitewash of what Rep. Boebert actually told the MAGA faithful at Saturday’s rally, which was captured on video for posterity:

 

BOEBERT: That’s why we are here today. To stand for the constitution! To stand for freedom! To stand for President Donald J. Trump and the American Dream! God bless you all, thank you all so much for being out here today, for standing with President Trump as he has helped so many people like me in their races. How he has helped so many people like you and keeping the American Dream alive. This is about our children, and our children’s children and generations to come!

Boebert described her brief address to the Million MAGA March (actual population in the low tens of thousands by most estimates) as an “impromptu speech,” but you can see in this thirty seconds of video a bit of the stump energy that put Boebert ahead of her somnolent predecessor Rep. Scott Tipton in her safe GOP district. The words coming out of Boebert’s mouth may be disconnected from reality, but her impassioned delivery–as long as there are no follow-up questions–is undeniably pretty good. Other high-profile speakers at Saturday’s rally included fellow Rep.-elect and “QAnon” dabbler Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Alex Jones, the thoroughly discredited conspiracy theorist now enjoying a resurgence in the Trump disinformation bubble.

By comparison, Boebert’s soon-to-be colleagues in Colorado’s GOP congressional delegation have been mostly silent in recent days on the question of Trump’s defeat–after sending obligatory “count every legal vote” Tweets, Reps. Ken Buck and even frothing MAGA-hat Doug Lamborn have stayed out of the fray. As for defeated Sen. Cory Gardner? The last thing anyone expects from him is to show leadership now.

Into this vacuum now steps Rep.-elect Boebert, a fresh face but with no policy depth and no real agenda other than leading worship services for the guy who is about to not be President. While this all feels heady in the present Trump-imposed unreality insisting an election that is over somehow is not over, reality is going to crash this party inevitably. The reckoning of Trump’s fiction with Joe Biden having actually won the election is coming, and it’s an open, troubling question how Trump’s radicalized and heavily armed base (see: Lauren Boebert) is going to react to that eventuality.

How is this going to end? Most Colorado Republicans are at least hedging their bets. But not Lauren Boebert. She’s cast her lot, and she’s the face of the party by default now.

It’s going to be a hard fall from the nest, folks.

Monday Open Thread

“The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people.”

–Charles Bradlaugh

COVID-19 Finally Comes For Mesa County

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis.

As the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports:

Another two COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized in Mesa County for a total of 36 county residents…

Positive COVID-19 tests jumped another 183 cases, according to the county health department. In the past two weeks alone, Mesa County has recorded 1,594 positive cases. That figure accounts for more than half of the county’s total positive case count since the pandemic began, 3,097.

Mesa County’s two-week positivity rate, a key indicator health officials use for tracking the prevalence in an area, was recorded at 10.28%.

This weekend, new restrictions went into effect in Mesa County as officials struggle with the surge of cases and a long, dark winter has not yet even begun:

As COVID-19 cases surge, the Mesa County Board of Public Health has approved a new Public Health Order to exert all efforts to keep businesses operating, students in classrooms, and avoid closures. Indoor events, outdoor events, and public gatherings are not allowed, and restaurants and bars that serve food may not offer live music or other live performances.

“We urge residents not to ignore our responsibility as individuals and as a community to keep our families, friends, and employees healthy and our economy running,” said Scott McInnis, Chairman of the Board of Mesa County Commissioners.

The new orders this weekend significantly increase restrictions over two weeks ago, when public gatherings were subject to capacity limits instead of being completely banned.

As readers know, the current surge in positive COVID-19 cases in Mesa County comes after the area’s Republican political leadership spent the spring and summer resisting public health measures to combat the spread of the virus. Mesa County was specifically cited by Colorado Senate Republican leaders in their angry letter to Gov. Jared Polis back in March as an example of “overreach.”

Is Mesa County the only place in Colorado with elected leaders who should be eating their words about COVID-19 today? Of course not. The politicization of what should never have been a political issue has resulted in elected leaders from the President on down making decisions completely at odds with their responsibility to protect the public. In turn, the public treats the pandemic seriously based on their own political affiliation instead of what’s needed to remain safe. The political divide over responding to the pandemic has severely compromised the effectiveness of prevention efforts, in addition to forcing well-intentioned leaders like Gov. Polis to make unscientific concessions–and even hesitate to act in the pandemic’s successive waves.

From the White House to the Colorado Senate to the Mesa County Board of Commissioners, the emerging hard reality is that we could have beat this pandemic if it hadn’t become a political football in the spring. We could have controlled the spread before it became uncontrollable, and shortened the pain of restrictions that must now go on indefinitely until a vaccine becomes available.

But we did not, and now the price will be paid without political distinction.

Undoing the Trump Autocracy and Unifying the Country: What are the first steps?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Morgan Carroll, Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, is asking  on Facebook: What are your ideas for how you would bring the country together in the post-Trump era?

Ideas from commenters repeat common themes: Fix or replace the ACA with Medicare for All. Form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Start a new Civilian Conservation Corps. Time and Wine.

My answer to Morgan’s question: 1. Beat COVID. That’s our country’s unifying moon shot. We need universal vaccinations and public health measures. 2. This requires funding, so –  Undo the Trump tax cuts and enforce existing tax law so that there is revenue to rebuild social infrastructure.

3. Then focus on creating equality of opportunity. End structural racism and obviously discriminatory laws: Muslim ban, DACA deportations, stop and frisk laws that target people of color, end qualified immunity for police, rescind the transgender ban, codify respect for tribal law and treaty rights for Native territories,and finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Restore the Voting Rights Act and implement  national fair voting standards.

4. And somewhere along the way, do what they did in the 1930s: Argue about what Democracy means, and why it is / isn’t worth saving.

1930s forum picture, Library of Congress

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress; flyers for the public forums of the 1930s

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Recall Polis 2.0 Campaign Fails Even Harder Than Recall Polis 1.0

FRIDAY PM UPDATE: #Fail.

Translation: they’re not turning in signatures. Because they don’t have the signatures. Every time they said they were on track to get the signatures, they were lying. This was, as we expected and as was the first Recall Polis campaign, a waste of everyone’s valuable time. The faithful are, needless to say, rather pissed:

Let the excuse-making commence anew! Better luck with Recall Polis 3.0, which should begin shortly.

—–

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Anticipation builds at the Dethrone Polis Facebook page as today’s close-of-business deadline to turn in 630,000+ valid voter signatures looms:

Stay tuned–don’t make this the only thing you do today, but we’ll let you know how pathetically it ends.

—–

As readers keeping track are aware, and we admit that’s probably not all of you, tomorrow is the deadline for the so-called Dethrone Polis 2020 campaign to submit over 630,000 valid Colorado voter signatures to qualify a recall question against Democratic Gov. Jared Polis for a future special election. We have been following this effort as closely as our finite attention span allows since its kickoff in September, and there has been nothing to suggest anything close to the massive effort that would be required is actually underway to collect more petition signatures than any campaign in the state’s history has ever collected.

Despite this, as readers know, the Dethrone Polis 2020 campaign has posted optimistic graphics along the way, which they originally claimed showed the number of “petition signatures” collected–later altered to clarify it depicts the number of “petitions in circulation.” We assumed this to mean they had printed and handed out blank petition forms that could hypothetically hold 55% of the signatures they needed.

But when we checked the Dethrone Polis site this morning, the progress meter we’ve become accustomed watching grow to was gone, replaced by this message:

That’s it. “Signature collection is complete.” Which leaves plenty of wiggle room for the question we won’t have definitely answered until tomorrow’s deadline–was signature collection “completed”…successfully? Will the Dethrone Polis campaign actually deliver 630,000+ valid voter signatures tomorrow? Will it be another press conference to announce they (maybe) collected less than half of what they needed like the last Polis recall campaign? Will they show up with empty Budwesier boxes?

The one thing we can say for sure is they’ll have to announce the end of the current recall campaign before they can start the next Polis recall campaign. Who knows? Maybe recalling Gov. Polis will become a permanent cottage industry for little bands of disaffected Republicans who take up the cause, fail, and distribute the money raised among themselves. If nothing else, it’s a fine distraction from losing elections!

You’re right, nobody’s going to pay for this forever. Stay tuned for the ignominious conclusion.

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